WWF-Australia has applauded Western Australia for accelerating and expanding its plan to ban harmful single-use plastic items, including plastic coffee cups and lids.
The WA Government today announced it would fast-track its plastics plan by four years
, phasing out single-use plastic bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, straws, polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases by the end of this year.
Takeaway coffee cups and lids with single-use plastic materials have also been added to the list of items to be banned by the end of 2022.
“We’re pleased to see WA raising its ambition and speeding up its timeline for tackling the most problematic plastics,” said Kate Noble, WWF-Australia’s No Plastics in Nature Policy Manager.
“Plastic bags, plates and utensils are usually discarded after a single-use and cause huge damage when they leak into our oceans and environment. Seabirds and turtles confuse plastic bags and balloons for food, a mistake that often proves fatal.”
“Taking these damaging items out of circulation this year will help to stem the tide of plastic at its source and save marine wildlife.”
Ms Noble also congratulated WA for being the first to take action on plastic coffee cups and lids.
“Australians discard about a billion coffee cups every year. This is a massive mountain of waste that most governments aren’t acting on, so it’s great to see WA leading the way,” she said.
“There are viable, sustainable alternatives to these single-use plastic items, so there’s no excuse for delaying action.”
“We’re seeing huge momentum across the country on tackling plastic pollution, with today’s announcements from WA and NSW just the latest in a race to the top.”
“This is excellent news, but it’s just part of the solution. We know that plastic pollution is a global problem and tackling it through a global agreement is the next step. That process has already started and Australia should be playing a leadership role in this process.”
“A staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year and plastic dumped in one region can travel and impact others. We need collective action to tackle this global disaster.”
People can show their support for nature by urging states and territories to ban problematic plastics here: https://www.wwf.org.au/get-involved/plastics